Warner Thomas officially assumed the role of Ochsner Health System President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on September 1, 2012. As the CEO of Ochsner, Louisiana’s largest non-profit health system, Mr. Thomas is responsible for the system’s overall strategic growth and development.
Mr. Thomas joined Ochsner in 1998 and served for 14 years as Ochsner’s President and Chief Operating Officer (COO). As COO, Mr. Thomas was instrumental in Ochsner’s growth in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated much of the medical infrastructure in south Louisiana. In the years since the storm, Ochsner has acquired seven hospitals and developed strategic partnerships and affiliations with 16 others – growing its presence across Louisiana and throughout the Gulf South region.
Since joining Ochsner, Mr. Thomas has focused on implementing industry best practices and developing innovative partnerships with major companies such as General Electric, which has resulted in developing the operating capability required to successfully run a health system of Ochsner’s size. Mr. Thomas was the driving force behind the creation of Innovation Ochsner, an innovation accelerator designed to create health innovations as well as support and partner with companies working to revolutionize patient-centered care. He also spearheaded the creation of the Ochsner Learning Institute, which provides free professional education for all Ochsner leaders to better prepare them to confront challenges, seek opportunity and ignite enthusiasm around best practices in healthcare.
Mr. Thomas’ expertise and ability are nationally recognized. In 2014, Mr. Thomas was appointed to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, which advises Congress on issues affecting Medicare. He has served as Chairman of the American Hospital Association Section for Health Systems Governing Council, and is a past member of the Board of the American Medical Group Association and Association of American Medical Colleges Advisory Panel for Health Care and Council of Teaching Hospitals.
Mr. Thomas received his Masters Degree in Business Administration in 1994 from Boston University Graduate School of Management, and an undergraduate degree in Accounting and Computer Information Systems from New Hampshire College in Manchester, NH. He was a Certified Public Accountant, served on the board of the American Medical Group Association, is a Fellow in The American College of Healthcare Executives, a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and New Orleans Business Council.
Ochsner Health System is Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic healthcare system. Driven by a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate, coordinated clinical and hospital patient care is provided across the region by Ochsner's 25 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and more than 50 health centers. Ochsner is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Hospital” across nine specialty categories caring for patients from all 50 states and more than 90 countries worldwide each year. Ochsner employs more than 17,000 employees, nearly 1,000 physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties and conducts over 750 clinical research studies. Ochsner Health System is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit ochsner.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.